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Monday, July 26, 2021

Category: Global Economy

Kenya aspires to export its pioneering expertise in the production of geothermal electricity

When Kenya opened the Olkaria power plant four decades ago, it was more of a research project than a commercial one. Because of its location in Hills Gate National Park, an arid region of volcanic rock punctuated by sulfur gases and inhabited mostly by pigs and zebras, the facility was able to generate electricity using steam from deep within the earth. Untested and expensive geothermal energy was an experimental technology at best, with the first unit expected to power about 10,000 homes. Today, the Olkaria plant generates more than 50 times that, and the technology is going to make up the strength of the country’s electricity grid. “Our future strategy is geothermal energy,” says Rebecca Miano, chief executive of the state-owned Kenya Electricity Generating Company, or KenGen.

For decades, Kenya and its neighbors have focused on hydroelectric power and fossil-fueled thermal plants, but only recently have they awakened to the potential of their vast underground energy resources. The area lies on the side of the Great Rift Valley, an area where tectonic plates gather, bringing the magma underground closer to the surface. It is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, with Mount Kilimanjaro in the middle, in addition to dozens of hot springs that indicate the intense heat directly below. According to economic research firm Fitch Solutions, Kenya gets nearly half of its electricity from geothermal power plants, more than any other country, and is on track to increase that rate to nearly three-fifths of its electricity. electricity by 2030.

New stations
The Olkaria geothermal power plant, the first of its kind in Africa, feeds tubes that extend two miles deep into the Earth’s crust. The deep tubes deliver high-pressure steam up to 350°C (662°F), which is used to drive giant turbines. Ken Jin plans to invest $2 billion over the next five years in the construction of four new plants and upgrades to the Olkaria plant, which will increase Kenya’s geothermal capacity to more than 1.6 gigawatts, nearly double the current production, which is Enough to supply electricity to a city of one million people. In the long term, the Kenya Electric Corporation expects the country to be able to generate at least six times that amount.

Investment hurdle
The biggest hurdle, in Kenya and the region, has always been the initial investment. While turbines and other equipment used above ground cost roughly $3 million per megawatt, the real cost lies underground, with a single well costing up to $6 million. The construction of each unit usually entails multiple drilling attempts to find enough steam to keep the turbines spinning. For the first plant in Olkaria, the Kenya Electricity Generating Company has drilled 33 wells. “Initially, geothermal plants were seen as too risky and the high initial cost was a drag,” says Peter Omanda, a consultant who has worked on several projects in the region. While technological advances have reduced costs and made it easier to get more steam from each well, the cost of drilling remains a significant obstacle.

Drilling wells and selling steam
To help offset costs, in 2008 Kenya established the state-owned Geothermal Development Corporation, known as GDC. This company aims to assume the investment risks associated with this technology, by drilling wells similar to oil drilling companies. And when it finds a promising field, it sells the steam to Ken Gene or other companies that build above-ground facilities. GDC has raised $746 million, mostly from international lenders such as the World Bank, to develop the volcanic Menengai Crater, 60 miles north of Olkaria, where three independent power producers expect to open geothermal plants in 2023 after years of delay.

Find out about gasoline prices in Egypt before and after the increase

Today, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced the increase in new gasoline prices, which makes many people search for gasoline prices in Egypt before and after the increase to determine the value of the increase.

Gasoline prices in Egypt were estimated before and after the increase, with an increase of 25 piasters per liter of gasoline of all kinds, and the stability and stabilization of diesel and diesel prices.

The Automatic Pricing Committee decided to raise gasoline prices by 3% over the prices set last April.

The committee formed by the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Finance announced to raise the prices of 80 petrol by 25 piasters to 6.75 instead of 6.50, which is within the framework of the 10% agreed upon by the committee in fuel pricing.

Gasoline 92 prices increased by 25 piasters, bringing the price of a liter of 92 gasoline to 8 pounds, compared to 7.75 pounds.

As for gasoline 95, it increased and reached 9 pounds per liter instead of 8.75 pounds per liter, and local diesel prices stabilized at 3900 pounds per ton.

Facebook allocates $1 billion to reward content creators in 2022

The company added that content makers will receive financial support from it, to be able to cover the costs of producing their videos.

In the statement, Facebook indicated that its new support program is available on its blue platform as well as on “Instagram”, in the form of in-video ads and a star system based on the continuity of the content creator in the production of videos.

Facebook explained that its new program is currently available on the “Invitations-Only” system only, and did not reveal the date of its availability to all content makers.

The United States provides Jordan with $600 million

Today, Saturday, before the start of King Abdullah II’s official visit to Washington, the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation signed an agreement to transfer the first batch of the US grant for direct cash support to the treasury, amounting to 600 million dollars, to contribute to financing development projects and supporting economic recovery.

The first batch of the US cash grant for 2021, amounting to a total of $845 million, is part of the US economic assistance program for the Jordanian government for this year, according to the Jordan News Agency, quoting a Ministry of Planning statement.

The agreement was signed by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Nasser Al-Shraideh, representing the Jordanian government, and the Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Sherry Carlin.

Al-Shraideh explained that transferring the cash support grant to the treasury early to support priority development projects within the sectors of public finance, water, education, health, public works, housing, energy, mineral wealth, local administration, tourism, antiquities, and youth, which will contribute to reducing the general budget deficit and support the government’s plans to start economic recovery.

Abu Dhabi is looking for investors to build factories to export blue hydrogen

Abu Dhabi is urging investors to help build hydrogen export facilities, as Middle East oil producers ramp up plans to sell what are seen as crucial fuels in the transition to cleaner energy.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), which pumps almost all oil and natural gas in the United Arab Emirates, is in talks with energy companies about its purchase of stakes in hydrogen projects, according to people familiar with the matter, who said the company also aims to sign long-term supply contracts before moving forward with investments. .

The hydrogen market is still small today and could be worth $700 billion a year by 2050, according to Bloomberg NFE.

Projects to export the fuel, which emits only water vapor when burned, are likely to cost billions of dollars. But amid a global push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; Arab Gulf states such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are looking to hydrogen to reduce their dependence on oil.

Japan and Korea Offers
Sultan Al Jaber, ADNOC President, and UAE Climate Envoy said hydrogen could become a major source of energy in the next 20 years. The company has signed agreements to explore fuel sales with the Japanese government and Korea’s GS Energy.

State-owned oil companies in the Gulf want to convert their expertise in exporting liquid fuels to shipping hydrogen or ammonia to customers around the world for electricity, transportation, and industrial use.

Saudi Aramco aims to capture a “significant share” of the market it sees as emerging from 2030 onwards.

Most of ADNOC’s export is likely to be blue hydrogen, which is generated by converting natural gas and capturing carbon dioxide, the byproduct. Hydrogen can be converted to ammonia to charge it more easily.

ADNOC on Wednesday agreed to study business opportunities for ammonia projects in the United Arab Emirates with Japan’s Inpex Corp, Jera, and the Asian country’s state energy company.

Oil Refinery, Chemical & Petrochemical plant abstract at night.

ammonia plant
The company, which is already producing hydrogen for its refineries, will boost production by expanding the oil processing plant and the Borouge petrochemical facility in the Ruwais industrial center, according to the sources. The additional hydrogen will be used at an ammonia facility, planned with fertilizer company Fertiglobe.

Abu Dhabi also wants to develop green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy, such as solar energy, in a process that emits no carbon. Blue hydrogen is cheaper and is expected to remain so for many years.

Bloomberg reported last month that the UAE was considering setting a zero-emissions target, something that no OPEC member has yet done. It is also looking to increase its renewable energy capacity.

However; In addition to green initiatives, the state is spending billions of dollars to be able to pump more crude oil. These investments have led to tensions with Saudi Arabia and OPEC, where the United Arab Emirates says its current share of oil production is very low.

Ambiguity surrounds the fate of the “crude oil” agreement between Lebanon and Iraq

Lebanon is officially informed of the decision of the Iraqi Council of Ministers about doubling the amount of oil that the Iraqi government had approved for Lebanon, from 500,000 tons to one million tons annually.

The Iraqi Council of Ministers had voted unanimously to support Lebanon with crude oil and to increase it from 500 thousand tons to one million tons, with a promise that the decision would be implemented as quickly as possible, given the urgent need for this support to Lebanon, because it is going through unusual circumstances.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun thanked officials in Iraq for the decision to double the amount of crude oil allocated to his country, through a tweet published by the official account on Twitter.

In Lebanon as well as outside it, observers see in the proposed deal a factional benefit that secures the continuity of the ruling system and postpones its complete collapse when it will be unable to provide basic services such as electricity and oil, especially since the agreement does not represent a sustainable plan but rather a temporary solution that carries with it more political goals than is in the interest of the citizens.

In the morning, oil expert Anas Al-Hajji tweeted on his Twitter account, commenting, “What does Michel Aoun mean by oil? If he means crude oil, there are no refineries in Lebanon, so how can refining take place, and if he means gasoline or diesel, Iraq does not export either of them.”

Al-Hajji added, “The only thing that remains is fuel oil, and this means the most inferior type of fuel oil, which is prohibited from being used in many countries of the world.”

The Lebanese Parliament had approved at the end of March a loan to purchase fuel needed to generate electricity representing 500,000 tons of oil, about 3.5 million barrels, i.e. the volume of Iraq’s daily oil exports. The agreement also includes “cooperation in the field of hospital management and medical training.” Lebanese experts and specialized medical teams will participate in it, which will contribute to the management of new institutions and “medical cities” in Iraq, according to what the National News Agency reported in mid-April.

Ambiguity

The Lebanese expert in the field of oil and gas and director of the Institute for Governance of Natural Resources, Dr. Laurie Haytayan told: “Sky News Arabia” that all this agreement is nothing but a “patching” of the problem that Lebanon suffers from in terms of its oil needs.

She added: “Between finding a way to import its oil needs directly, and between importing crude oil with certain facilities, and then looking for someone to repeat it for him and have to meet Iraq’s needs for medical services, while Lebanon already needs those services and is unable to secure its needs of equipment and medical staff that it needs.” migrate and a near-collapse of the health sector.”

“How can Lebanon provide medical services to Iraq when there is no medicine or a hospital bed for a patient?” asked Haytayan.

“The agreement is basically not appropriate, neither for Lebanon nor for Iraq, and there is ambiguity surrounding it,” Haitian said.

And she added, “There is confusion over what will come to us from Iraq. Is it crude oil or is it fuel? And if crude oil arrives, how will it be repeated?”

She added: “The problem with Iraqi fuel is that it contains 4% sulfur, and what is used in Lebanon must contain 1%, but if the importer is crude oil, we cannot benefit from it effectively, as it requires research on the way in which Lebanon will refine it.” The oil refineries in Lebanon are out of order, which requires securing a way to refine it outside Lebanon, either in Iraq or through a third party.

On 3 stages… Saudi Aramco begins selling the first dollar Sukuk in its history

Saudi Arabian Oil Company “Aramco”, the world’s largest energy company, has begun marketing its first-ever dollar-denominated Sukuk issuance. The state-controlled company is offering three tranches of Sukuk with terms of 3, 5, and 10 years, according to a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. He requested anonymity because the details are private.

According to Reuters, potential investors received indicative pricing for the three-year tranche of 105 basis points above the US Treasury yield, the five-year tranche of 125 basis points above the US Treasury, and the ten-year tranche of 160 basis points above the US Treasury.

A source attributed Aramco’s issuance of Sukuk instead of traditional bonds to the high demand for the Sukuk instrument as a result of the lack of dollar Sukuk sales from the Gulf this year, and it is expected that the terms and final size will be determined today, Wednesday.

Last Monday, Aramco announced the start of offering international Sukuk denominated in US dollars, for the first time in its history. Released on Monday.

Aramco set the minimum subscription for the offering at $200,000, noting that determining the price of the instrument, the nominal value, the return on the instrument, and the maturity period; It will be subject to market conditions.

The net proceeds from each issue of the Sukuk will be used for the general purposes of Saudi Aramco, or for any other purpose specified in the final terms of the series of Sukuk.

Saudi Aramco has appointed 13 local and international managers for the upcoming Sukuk offering, which are Alinma Investments, Al Rajhi Capital, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Goldman Sachs, and HSB. HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, NCB Capital, Riyad Capital, SMBC NICCO, and Standard Chartered as the joint lead book-runners to organize a series of investor meetings Fixed-income earners, as of today, Monday, June 7th.

Saudi Aramco is seeking to raise liquidity through the global debt markets to help finance its pledge to distribute dividends of $75 billion to shareholders.

Aramco was forced to cut spending, jobs and sell non-core assets, in light of the spread of the Coronavirus and widespread shutdowns that curbed demand for oil last year, the main source of Saudi Arabia’s revenue.

The price of Brent crude has rebounded, after dropping to a 21-year low of just under $16 a barrel at one point in 2020. It has since more than quadrupled to more than $70 a barrel.

Aramco’s oil revenue accounts for about 40% of Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product, and the recent increase in crude oil prices could drive that percentage up, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Jaymin Patel and Damien Sassore wrote in a note Tuesday. They said Saudi Arabia’s plans to reduce its dependence on Aramco would be challenged by the country’s fiscal deficit.

France budget deficit is close to 268 billion dollars due to Covid-19

France raised its budget deficit forecast this year to around 220 billion euros ($ 268.16 billion) this year as a result of several measures taken to support the economy affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the French budget minister, Olivier.

Olivier had expected this increase in the budget deficit after previous expectations amounted to 173.3 billion euros (210.9 billion dollars), while the French government is preparing to introduce a bill that includes additional emergency stimulus measures worth 15 billion euros (18.2 billion dollars) this week.

Last year, France provided emergency aid close to 100 billion euros (121.9 billion dollars) to cope with the economic consequences of the spread of the Covid-19 virus.


The new steps are expected to include tax breaks for hotels, restaurants, and bars, as well as multiple support plans such as compensation for lost working hours, according to Reuters.
France criticized the delay in the European Union countries in passing the stimulus package amounting to 750 billion euros (883 billion dollars), especially with the continued impact of the economies of countries by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.


While activating the stimulus package that was agreed upon after difficult negotiations last year requires ratification by all 27 European Union countries, only 16 countries have agreed to the plan so far.

The agreement on the historic stimulus package to help the European Union countries, which have been hard hit by the epidemic, through joint borrowing of all members, was a paradigm shift in the approach of Germany and other countries after they had long opposed taking responsibility for the debts of other members of the European Union.


French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said growth should be driven because recovery is needed now, but if the package is to be passed until 2022 or 2023 it will be too late, and the Chinese and Americans will have overtaken Europe.


At the end of last March, the German Constitutional Court suspended the ratification of the European stimulus package in a surprising move, after 5 individuals filed an appeal that resulted in a temporary judicial order stopping the passage of the package.
France is now unlikely to receive the € 5 billion ($ 5.88 billion) amount in July as planned for the European stimulus package due to the delay.

The Turkish currency drops to a new low of 8.6 pounds against the dollar

The Turkish lira fell to an all-time low, influenced by fears of rising inflation worldwide, and expectations at the local level that the central bank will cut interest levels soon, along with concerns about possible early elections.

The Turkish currency, which is the worst-performing in emerging markets this year, fell as much as 8.6 lira to the dollar, breaking an all-time low of 8.58 in November.

Changes in the Central Bank
Several administrative changes took place in the Turkish central bank, yesterday, Thursday, and the executive directors of the banking, research, and statistical departments were among the top central bank employees who were replaced. According to Bloomberg.
Sources in the bank said that some changes were made between employees of the budget and legal departments, and the internal changes were not announced to the public.
This step comes two months after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the governor of the Central Bank, Naji Avbal, the third governor of the bank in less than two years, which led to the collapse of Turkish markets. Erdogan, who carries unconventional ideas about monetary policy and its impact on inflation, has replaced three additional members of the central bank’s interest-setting committee since Kavçioglu was installed as the new governor.


The impact of Erdogan’s decisions
The decision to dismiss Iqbal, who sought to restore the central bank’s credibility, quickly reflected investor enthusiasm, and the lira had fallen 16% since mid-March, and the new ruler pledged to continue politics after his appointment and kept interest rates unchanged for the second month in May.


The Turkish Central Bank kept the key interest at 19%. Ihsanoglu announced that he “intends to keep it at a higher level than the annual inflation rate,” which reached 16.2% last month and also expected inflation to decline to 9.4% by the end of 2021.


The credit rating agency Moody has warned that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dismissal of the central bank governor will likely negatively affect capital flows to Turkey and renew pressure on the exchange rate, leading to higher inflation. She suggested that the central bank would reduce interest rates below the level of inflation to push growth under his new governor, who shares Erdogan’s views on easing monetary policy.

Qatar plans to dominate the liquefied gas market with a $ 29 billion project

The world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas is drastically increasing its production and undermining competitors in an attempt to drive them out of the market.

Qatar has lowered its prices and is moving ahead with a $ 29 billion project to increase its exports by more than 50%, hindering prospects for establishing new projects elsewhere. It has also created a trade team to compete in the emerging spot market and enter Asia more strongly, according to people familiar with the matter.

The strategy represents a shift for Qatar, which has barely increased its production over the past five years and has traditionally given priority to prices over market share. Increased competition, especially from the United States and Australia, has forced the Gulf state to become smarter and attract buyers in Asia, which is a hot region for gas demand.

The global shift to renewable energy increases the country’s sense of an urgent need to develop its production. Until recently, LNG was touted as a bridge from coal and oil to solar and wind energy, but it is not getting the attention of some governments that are stepping up efforts to slow climate change.

A struggle for the lead
“The expansion plan in Qatar is so massive that it raises questions about the need for other supply options; Although it is still in the lead, the United States has never been this close before, so Qatar needed to act if it wanted to maintain its leading position. ”

The United States came close to surpassing monthly Qatari exports for the first time in April, while Australia was close to the Middle Eastern country last year, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. As Gulf Coast projects develop, the United States is set to briefly become the world’s largest supplier by 2024, before Qatar regains that position later in the decade, according to Bloomberg NEF.

Several factors play a role in Qatar’s interest. China, one of the fastest-growing LNG markets, has been reluctant to import more from the United States or Australia due to trade and geopolitical tensions, but the main advantage of Qatar is that it has the lowest production costs in the world thanks to the abundance of easy-to-extract gas, as most of it is found in the field. The giant north extends into Iran.

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